A worthy guide for Christian readers looking to supplement their daily meditation and prayer practices.

READ REVIEW

THE KEEPER

A debut Christian devotional offers a series of musings on the teachings of the Bible.

Each page of this short work delivers a paragraph or two examining some aspect of the Bible. That passage is followed by a list of the biblical books, chapters, and verses that readers could study for further rumination. For example, the “Praising Him” page begins: “Is that you I hear singing? The noise of rejoicing, your sounds of joyful praise, reflects your strength as the joy of the Lord reigns.” After exploring this subject further, Flanagan suggests that readers refer to Acts 10:38, Nehemiah 8:9, and 1 Kings 1:15-53. The volume’s title describes God, the one who keeps all of Creation in his hands. The author’s prose is calm and coaxing, full of metaphors from daily life that should help her audience more effectively engage with the lessons she is expounding on. While this is certainly a book for practicing Christians to consult as part of their regular prayer and meditation routines, there are some tidbits that readers looking to connect more deeply with themselves or nature will find useful. For instance, Flanagan supplies this valuable tip on the “Seize the Day” page: “The time has come to break free of the worries that tie you down and take away your life, the ones that have come one by one like little threads that tie a cloth. They keep you from living in the moment, causing you to miss the fullness of life.” The author implies in the work’s preface that she has been sharing her wisdom and understanding of the Bible and reflecting on her faith through Facebook and email for some time. Her lucid interpretations are positive and inspirational, providing no trace of fire and brimstone. Instead, they show a deep appreciation for the splendor and wonder of life (“The sun shining through the morning mist calls us to the beauty of the day”).

A worthy guide for Christian readers looking to supplement their daily meditation and prayer practices.

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-973611-34-9

Page Count: 126

Publisher: Westbow Press

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2018

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MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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